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Economic Integration and Security in the Middle East and North Africa: What Prospects for a Liberal Peace?

Imad El-Anis
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Imad El-Anis: Department of Politics and International Relations, Nottingham Trent University

Journal of Developing Societies, 2018, vol. 34, issue 3, 233-263

Abstract: Since the late 1980s governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have created commercial institutions in order to promote regional economic integration. The primary aim of this policy has been regarded as the promotion of economic welfare gains at the national level. The second, albeit less-emphasized goal, has been to promote regional peace through economic interdependence. This study examines the prospects for a liberal peace in the MENA by analyzing two stages of the commercial institutional peace. First, the study considers whether commercial institutions have promoted intra-regional trade in the MENA. Second, it examines whether economic interaction has had an impact on promoting peace within the region. Twenty states are considered here and the unit of analysis is the dyad-year over a 25-year period from 1990 to 2014. This study finds that commercial institutions in the MENA have only a limited positive correlation with trade volume and while there is a direct positive correlation between economic integration and peace in the region, this is quite limited. These findings suggest that the conclusions made by previous studies demonstrate a direct positive correlation between commercial institutions (and economic integration more generally) and peace, may be less applicable to some regions such as MENA.

Keywords: commercial institutional peace; Middle East; North Africa; economic integration; peace (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:34:y:2018:i:3:p:233-263